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EU Monitor

The series "EU Monitor" focuses on political, economic and monetary developments in the enlarged EU. The spectrum ranges from political commentaries and reform of the EU institutions to matters pertaining to the European Economic and Monetary Union, financial-market and banking aspects, and the consequences of enlargement for specific sectors and countries.

95 (41-50)
June 17, 2016
Region:
The Juncker Plan set out to boost investment in Europe and can show some progress so far. After operating for about a year, a total of EUR 12.8 bn financing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has been approved by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. This is expected to trigger EUR 100 bn of total investment according to estimates by the institutions. The European Commission has already called for extension of EFSI beyond the initial three year period ideally increasing its scale and scope. However, considerations about EFSI’s future need to be based on thorough evaluation of effectiveness and demonstrated added value. After the first year, there is -quite naturally- more information on activity than evidence on impact. To that effect, continuous monitoring and mid-term stock-taking are key to inform the debate about EFSI's future. [more]
41
June 7, 2016
Region:
Fiscal councils can improve the sustainability of public finances. They can increase transparency and accountability of fiscal policymaking by providing unbiased information to the public and stakeholders in the budget process. The design of their mandates, independence, and their public role are key conditions determining effectiveness. The new European Advisory Fiscal Board (EAFB) can be a valuable addition but is unlikely to be a game changer. Far-reaching reforms on the Union’s fiscal framework remain contingent on political will. Independence is crucial for fiscal councils to have an impact. This holds for both the EAFB and national fiscal councils. In addition, cooperation between the new EAFB and national bodies is a necessary requirement for a “European System of Fiscal Boards” to work effectively. [more]
42
April 29, 2016
Region:
With the Single Resolution Mechanism taking full effect in 2016, winding-up large European banks in distress has become a more realistic scenario than ever before. One of the key elements of such a resolution is the bail-in tool. It is supposed to ensure that for investors, higher returns also involve higher risk, thereby establishing greater discipline and differentiation in markets for bank debt. Indeed, our analysis shows that market participants see the new bail-in regime as credible, which is a necessary precondition for a successful application. Important issues that still remain are the market depth for bail-in instruments and legal clarity about bail-in hierarchies. In any case, banks’ funding costs are likely to rise as a result, especially in the medium term. [more]
43
January 21, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
Our analysis on labour mobility shows that mobility between EMU countries is relatively low compared to the US. EMU mobility was far higher in the post-crisis period and increased significantly since 2007. In particular, the ongoing, pronounced variation of the labour market situation across EMU countries should remain a driving force of bilateral migration. The higher mobility provides some limited hope for the ECB. However, the increased competition caused by the jump of migration from non-EMU countries will probably put the increased EMU labour mobility at risk, which was dominated by the shift of flows in the direction of Germany as EMU’s stability anchor since the start of the crisis. [more]
44
December 23, 2015
Region:
The financial and economic crisis brought development banks back in the spotlight. They are seen as part of the economic policy toolkit for overcoming cyclical and structural difficulties in economies, complementing financial systems by improving their functioning and bolstering economic resilience. Interest in development banking to promote growth and boost investment has increased especially in Europe of late. Given the current economic environment and changes in Europe’s banking and financial markets, development banks are bound to continue playing an important role in the coming years. Rather than crisis relief, their focus is shifting (back) to supporting structural change in economies. Here, they can play a useful complementary role, focusing on areas of market failure but risks lie with potential “overburdening” of development banks and setting expectations too high for what they can achieve. [more]
45
November 11, 2015
Region:
The single market is and remains the centrepiece of Europe’s economic architecture – but current single market arrangements are struggling to keep pace with the digital economy. With digitisation advancing, adapting single market rules becomes increasingly important to ensure its functioning and digital technologies could help unlock some of the remaining single market benefits. The European Commission has made the digital single market (DSM) a key priority, put forward a dedicated strategy in May 2015 and recently announced further steps to strengthen the internal market. Big expectations have been attached to the DSM – yet the gains associated with it are unlikely to materialise automatically. Will Europe’s digital strategy succeed? [more]
46
November 2, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
The creation of a European Capital Markets Union (CMU) aims to establishing a single market for capital to complement bank financing. In this paper, we make a quantitative assessment of the European stock, bond and securitisation markets to look at the CMU’s potential. Our results reveal that liquidity and IPO trends in European stock markets are similar to those in the US. However, market integration has slowed down in recent years, which the CMU could counter by harmonising company, securities and insolvency laws. European corporate bond markets have become a notable alternative to bank lending but their investor base remains restricted, which the CMU should address. The securitisation market in Europe has performed well throughout the crises and its revival is a sine qua non for lending to regain traction, especially to SMEs. The CMU should thus target a less punitive regulatory treatment for this market segment. [more]
47
August 19, 2015
Region:
Reform of deposit guarantee schemes (DGS) in the EU has followed a gradual approach. The latest reform established common requirements on financing for national schemes but funds remain separate. The debate about the future of DGS has been revived recently, though. The five presidents' report on completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union put DGS reform back into the larger reform discussion and identified deposit insurance as one of the areas of the Banking Union still pending completion. While joint deposit insurance may seem a rather long-term option, several short- and mid-term suggestions to complement DGS have been raised. They put an emphasis on adapting the current setup with a view to increase back-up financing capacity of individual schemes. Ideas include i) strengthening the network of DGS and possibilities for bilateral lending, ii) establishing a reinsurance scheme, iii) developing a common fiscal backstop to national DGS. [more]
48
April 28, 2015
Region:
Populist parties are gaining momentum in countries across Europe. Their profiles may be fundamentally different, but they are united in rejection of further steps towards European integration. Despite successes at national level, no noteworthy influence has been wielded by Eurosceptic parties at the European level to date. However, populist parties could shape European politics in the future by blocking progress in political areas that require broad consensus in particular. Established parties could then be forced to follow a course aligned more strongly with putative national interests. This could mean that reforms are not implemented on time or in full, thus preventing the required further development of the institutions of the eurozone. [more]
49
March 20, 2015
Region:
In the EU there is ongoing debate about so-called "social benefit tourism". Not only supporters of populist parties, but also broader sections of the population say that the current rules on free movement and coordination of social security systems virtually invite people from southern, central and eastern Europe to migrate into the social security systems of more prosperous partner countries and thus overstrain these systems. Reforms should, at the very least, aim at making the current law less contestable and easier for national authorities to apply. Much argues in favour of taking a generally more restrictive approach. The closer coordination of the social security systems sought in various quarters is not suitable as a driver of European integration. [more]
50
7.6.3